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Almost one-third of the Earth's surface is land.  There are seven (7) large pieces of land, called continents, which comprise most of this area.  The remaining land consists of islands — much smaller landmasses that are completely surrounded by water.  The seven continents — Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, and South America — fit into approximately one-half of the Earth; the vast Pacific Ocean occupies most of the other half of the Earth.  The land area of Asia, the largest continent, is more than 17 million square miles; some geographers consider Europe and Asia to be a single continent named Eurasia because they are a contiguous landmass.  The continents lie on vast pieces of rock, known as tectonic plates, which move about an inch per year — and collide against each other.  These plate movements cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions as well as various changes and distortions in the surface of the Earth.  Listed in order of size, from largest to smallest, the continents are as follows:  Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.
seven continents of the Earth
Seven Continents of the Earth

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